Lucas-Helber says white space could also complement the move toward electronic health records and other aspects of telemedicine, particularly when white space spectrums have the capacity to carry secure patient data. "It's a great opportunity to complement and off load some of the network traffic that we have in our facility. Some might be more appropriate for white space network, while others might be more appropriate for a different type of network. I can see them working nicely together," she says.
Hamilla says that while TV white space itself is not secure for sending sensitive medical data, wireless network providers can install high levels of security for the data transmitted throughout the network.
Lucas-Helber says she's not sure when the demonstration project will expire. When it does, she's not sure how much it will cost to maintain access to white spaces. However, she says cost will play a big role in whether or not HVCH continues to access TV white space when the demonstration project expires.
"Would I have been able to pursue Wi-Fi as a high priority given the other competing needs at the hospital? We wouldn't have been able to do that without any kind of outside help," she says. "It would be great if they would make it reasonable for folks."
Hamilla says that when TV white space becomes widely adopted the pricing on equipment and subscriber devices will be on a par with the costs of Wi-Fi.